Snoopy and the Peanuts gang have discovered a spot in nearly each artistic medium on the market, from the unique sketch to TV specials, films, and Broadway musicals. So it’s not too shocking that they’ve not directly wormed their manner onto the Prime 100 as effectively.
In late 1966, “Snoopy vs. the Pink Baron” was all the trend. The one purpose it didn’t attain primary on the charts was as a result of the Monkees occurred to launch their monster hit “I’m a Believer” across the similar time. It took 4 Monkees to defeat one beagle in a shawl.
So how did this all come about, anyway? The music was written by Dick Holler, higher recognized for the extra sober hit “Abraham, Martin, and John,” and music producer Phil Gernhard. Nevertheless it was introduced on to the world’s eardrums courtesy of a band referred to as the Royal Guardsmen. Regardless of the title, which they got here up with to money in on the British Invasion, they have been six youngsters — 5 in highschool, one in school — from central Florida.
The Guardsmen discovered success the old school manner: in keeping with a 2006 interview with vocalist and guitarist Barry Winslow, they “performed proms and little dances and a bit of teen membership,” finally working their as much as opening for different acts. That’s when Gerhard approached them.
Now, in keeping with Winslow, Gerhard solely confirmed them the lyrics to “Snoopy vs. the Pink Baron” and instructed them to go to city with it. That makes it sound just like the Guardsmen have been those to provide you with the melody and orchestration, but the band itself has no writers’ credit on the music. One other supply states that the music was a reworked model of Dick Holler’s “The Pink Baron,” which he wrote years earlier however had no success with.
Perhaps any person misspoke or misremembered. That may occur when relating occasions so a few years after the actual fact.
In any case, the Guardsmen hated their preliminary tackle the music however despatched it to Gerhard anyway. Gerhard liked it, and successful was born.
And the way did Charles M. Schulz, Snoopy’s creator, react to all this? Apparently, he was cool sufficient with it to attract the album cowl for the Guardsmen’s second album, Snoopy and His Buddies. However no person on the music facet of issues had bothered to ask permission to make use of his characters forward of time, and whereas they have been all figuring out the authorized kinks, the Guardsmen recorded a copyright-friendly model of the music, “Squeaky vs. the Black Knight.” This model was launched in Canada however shortly forgotten as soon as Schulz’s crew gave their blessing.
The remainder of the Guardsmen’s first album (additionally named Snoopy vs. the Pink Baron) is generally covers of profoundly ’60s hits like “Alley Oop” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” Apparently, it’s because nobody was anticipating “Snoopy” to be such successful, so the label, Laurie Information, needed to scramble to search out sufficient materials to fill out an entire album.
Like with many novelty hits, this one was adopted by a label-enforced lack of creativity. The Royal Guardsmen’s different albums have been all suspiciously Snoopy-centric, that includes ditties like “The Return of the Pink Baron,” “It’s Sopwith Camel Time,” and even “Snoopy’s Christmas,” which I personally take heed to many, many occasions each December.
Then got here “Snoopy for President,” which is cute, however truthfully, they sound drained. You’ll be able to type of inform the joke had worn skinny. As soon as the group missed out on the possibility to document “Abraham, Martin, and John,” which grew to become an enormous hit for Dion, they bought fed up, and that was principally it for them, career-wise.
In 2006, 40 years after the unique music’s launch, the Royal Guardsmen launched another Snoopy music, which I remorse to tell you was referred to as “Snoopy vs. Osama.” It’s about as oblivious as you’re considering and much more critical than the earlier songs. It even drags hapless Charlie Brown into issues (which appears a bit out of character since poor ol’ Charlie was by no means invited to hitch in Snoopy’s wealthy fantasy life, however I feel complaining about continuity in a novelty music is getting a bit choosy).
Within the Winslow interview, each he and the interviewer confer with the album this music seems on as “unusual,” which is pretty much as good a solution to put it as any.
From the identical interview, as of 2006, 5 of the band’s six unique members have been nonetheless alive and nonetheless often reunited to carry out. If nothing else, it’s good to know that, in contrast to so many different bands, they have been in a position to preserve a cordial relationship throughout and after fame.
As an enormous fan of kitschy ’60s pop AND a lifelong Peanuts fan, I genuinely benefit from the Royal Guardsmen’s discography. Songs impressed by comics are unusual sufficient that they’re at all times enjoyable to speak about, even after they’re not so nice. Happily, “Snoopy vs. the Pink Baron” is 2 minutes and forty seconds of excellent old school enjoyable!